Sounds and shapes

The Record, Contemporary ART and VINYL is a site accompanying a new exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. There’s even a B-Side section that collates the various vinyl-infused sites that spring up around the web. Of which there are a lot. Chronicling mp3 blogs used to be quite entertaining, but it’s got to the stage where it feels ever more wrong to draw attention to them. It’s not that there aren’t many, many brilliant mp3 blogs out there, but that they increasingly take on the form of a secret cabal, an ill-lit back passage of dubious intent. Perversely, the music they share is even more obscure, scraped from mixtapes and wonky vinyl, rather than the black-and-white moral universe that is transgressed by uploading the very latest big hit. Music connoisseurship has always thrived on the unusual and hard-to-find. Before the internet blew wide open the whole idea of subculture as a meaning of style there were plenty of pockets of cultural ephemera open only to those in the know. By not trumpeting these low-key purveyors of found sounds, audio nostalgia and other snippets, perhaps we’re simply attempting to keep a lid on something that will inevitably escape.

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Welcome to the The Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark, second life for an icon. The end of Gateshead, a Brutalist icon demolished. The comments are mind-numbingly banal – is it just us, or is commenting becoming a sort of reactionary/contrarian froth that can practically be guaranteed to straight-up contradict what has been written above it, almost as a matter of principle, rather than elicit any common sense or structured argument? Perhaps we’re just very late in observing this. The ability to disable all comments on major media sites in their entirety would be a very welcome plug-in.

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20×20 Magazine is not to be confused with 20×200, Jen Benkman’s art print website, which now includes great work by Ross Racine and Matthew Moore / The Flat Earth Society is pretty much an intellectual exercise, rather than what it claims to be {a lonely outposts of socially isolated but ultimately right people). Judging by the tone of their forum, the whole site could, conceivably, all have been written by one single person, having endless imaginary conversations with themselves / make music with Myna / Lego Starcraft.

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